We are back underway in the National North and the first week has been one full of action. We fell to a disappointing defeat at home to Curzon Ashton on Saturday despite Simon Ainge giving us the lead with his first goal for the club. On Tuesday we led twice at neighbours Spennymoor, but had to a settle for a 2-2 draw after a late Glen Taylor goal. The results left us in 17th with one point from our first two games.
Chorley and Bradford PA are amazingly the only two sides to have won both their opening games.
Chorley started with an impressive 1-0 win over York City thanks to a Adam Blakeman goal. Blakeman was again on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win at Guiseley on Tuesday. He grabbed the second after Alex Newby had put Chorley ahead.
Bradford PA also won against one of the favourites for the title on the opening day. Ben Mckenna scored the only goal to see them past Brackley Town. On Tuesday they came away from the North East and Blyth Spartans with all the points. Jake Beesley scored twice for them in a 2-1 win, with Sean Reid grabbing a late consolation for Spartans.
Blyth are one of four sides without a point so far. On Saturday they fell to a 3-0 defeat at newly promoted Hereford. Harry White, Michael MCgrath and Eliot Richards with the goals for the Bulls.
Before their home defeat to Chorley, Guiseley also lost out at Boston United at the weekend. Andre Johnson scored the winner for the Pilgrims in the final quarter of an hour.
Southport have invested over the summer, but are yet to get off the mark. Amari Morgan Smith scored the winner for Telford at home to Southport on Saturday. They then fell to a 3-1 home defeat to Altrincham. Liam Gouldin, John Johnston and Jordan Hulme scored for the newly promoted sides, with Jordan Richards getting on the scoresheet for Southport.
However, it is FC United of Manchester at the foot of the table having conceded nine so far in their two defeats. On the opening day they were smashed 5-1 at Stockport County. Matthew Warburton scored twice for County along with further goals from Euan Mulhern, Paul Turnbull and Kallum Mantack. Kurt Willoughby netted FC United’s consolation.
They then suffered a dramatic defeat against Ashton United on Tuesday. Matthew Chadwick gave Ashton the lead early on, before three quick fire goals from Kurt Willoughby, Harry Winter and Jack Banister put FC United 3-1 ahead. However, they ended up without anything from the game as Liam Tomsett, Nic Evangelinos and a late Dom Mchale goal gave Ashton United the 4-3 win.
Chester are one of the favourites to gain promotion from the division and they have picked up four points this week. They were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Spennymoor on Monday, before they won comfortably 3-0 at Curzon Ashton on Monday. Simon Grand and Anthony Dudley put Chester in control before half with John Prichard sealed the win after an hour.
Newly promoted Hereford have an identical record to Chester. After their win over Blyth they were held to a 0-0 draw away at Nuneaton. Borough also drew their other game this week 0-0 away to Ashton United.
Leamington struggled last season, but have a strong start this year. They drew 2-2 away at Altrincham first. They twice took the lead through Jack Edwards and Callum Gitting, but Jordan Hulme levelled on both occasions for the hosts. The Brakes followed this up with a 2-0 win over Boston United. Matthew Stenson and Junior English with the goals.
Like Leamington, Telford have surprisingly started the season well picking up four points on the opening week. They followed up victory against Southport, with an impressive goalless draw at Kidderminster.
Our next opponents Brackley bounced back from defeat on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Alfreton. Shephard Murombedzi scored two early goals for Brackley, before Richard Peniket pulled one back for the visitors. However, Lee Ndlovu sealed the victory just ten minutes later.
York City will be hoping to improve on last season and got off the mark on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Stockport. Wesley York scored the only in the last quarter of an hour in front of over 3,000 fans.
Alfreton fought back to pick up a point in a 3-3 thriller at home to Kidderminster. Daniel Bradley put Harriers ahead, before two quick strikes from Thomas Platt and Tom Denton put Alfreton ahead. However, the visitors looked destined to take all the points after second half goals from Kane Richards and Joe Ironside. However, Bobby Johnson scored the equaliser from the spot 5 minutes from time.
This week we have another double set of fixtures. For ourselves, we travel to Brackley Town before hosting Blyth Spartans on Wednesday.